Take Tender Care Of Teething Troubles

Did you know, Mom, Baby can start teething any time from birth to 18 months, although most babies start at about six months?

Some babies are born with teeth already erupted! These aren’t always the proper milk teeth and may need to be pulled by your dentist so that they don’t interfere with breastfeeding. If they are milk teeth, don’t worry, your little one will develop ways to breastfeed effectively.

After the first four teeth there’s usually quite a long wait before more teeth erupt, and Baby will probably have all of his milk teeth by the time he’s two and a half to three years old. It’s impossible to predict with total accuracy the order the teeth will erupt in, although the common pattern includes:

  • The bottom two middle teeth
  • The top two middle teeth
  • The two next to the top middle ones
  • The two next to the bottom middle ones
  • A gap is left next to the top erupted teeth and the next two top teeth come out
  • A gap is left next to the bottom erupted teeth and the next two top teeth come out
  • Teeth fill the gap at the top
  • Teeth fill the gap at the bottom
  • The two bottom back teeth
  • The two top back teeth

Teething symptoms

Some teeth come out easier than others, so symptoms can differ from tooth to tooth. Be careful not to confuse teething symptoms with sensitivity to formula milk, windiness, cramps, earache, or a reaction to a breastfeeding mom’s diet. Common teething symptoms include:

  • Increased drooling – if it’s accompanied by other symptoms, otherwise it’s quite normal
  • A rash around the mouth
  • Looser stools – but not diarrhoea; this should be treated by a doctor immediately
  • Nappy rash from increased stools and higher acidity
  • Different and unpleasant smelling stools
  • Restless nights
  • Fretful crying
  • Going off solids and needing more milk
  • Mild fever – high fever can indicate secondary infection and needs to be treated
  • Red, swollen gums with a line of white where the tooth will emerge

Don’t assume that Baby is teething because he starts putting his hand – and anything else he can find – into his mouth; from about two months babies go through an oral phase where they tend to explore everything with their tongues and mouths. This also stimulates saliva production which causes drooling and can look like teething.

Tender teething treatments

  • Give homeopathic chamomile tablets and the tissue salt Mag phos to help with teething – crush these remedies, mix in some water or breast milk to form a paste, and rub the paste onto Baby’s gums or just put it into his mouth where it will dissolve
  • Use the tissue salt Calc phos if Baby is a slow teether
  • Freeze rooibos tea or fresh fruit juice to make an iced lolly for Baby to suck if he’s old enough
  • Give Baby a teething ring to gnaw on
  • Rub Baby’s gums with a clean finger
  • Give Baby lots of comfort
  • Be patient about Baby returning to a full diet
  • Give Baby a probiotic if he has loose stools